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Netflix Domestic Subscriber Count Tops Cable TV

21 Jun, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel



Lost in CEO Reed Hastings’ recent public announcement about Netflix topping 100 million subscribers globally was the fact the subscription streaming video pioneer now has more domestic subs than cable television.

The cable industry’s top operators (Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, etc.) ended the first quarter (March 31) with about 48.6 million combined subs, according to Leichtman Research Group. That’s nearly 5% lower than Netflix’s reported domestic streaming sub count of 50.8 million.

When combined with satellite (33.2 million), telecom (9.8 million) and online TV (1.7 million), the domestic pay-TV ecosystem still dominates with 93.3 million subs.

Yet, pay-TV lost 410,000 subs in the quarter compared to gaining 10,000 in the previous year period. Netflix gained 1.4 million subs domestically and 4.9 million globally in the period, compared with 2.2 million domestic subs and 6.7 million globally added last year.

In a press release last month, analyst Bruce Leichtman said the decline in pay-TV subs should not be attributed solely to an increase in consumer churn.

“The net losses are also a function of a decrease in new connects, partially due to some providers less aggressively pursuing lower value [loss leader] customers than in the past,” Leichtman said.

 


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